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The German-language Wikipedia has its own Impressum. There is no equivalent for the English-language Wikipedia.

An Impressum (Latin "printed", from imprimĕre "to print") is the term given to a legally mandated statement of the ownership and authorship of a document, which must be included in books, newspapers, magazines[1] and websites[2] published in Germany and certain other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland.

There is no equivalent legislation in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, and therefore no consistent legal term is used in English-language media. The closest English terms for Impressum are:

None of these terms is an exact replacement in all contexts. The terms "masthead" and "colophon" apply to printed publications only and are not commonly used on English-language websites, while "site notice" is website-specific and "legal notice" or "legal disclosure" are rarely found in printed works. An "imprint" in publishing may also mean a brand name under which a work is published,[7] and so may not be understood to mean an Impressum.


The Telemediengesetz ("Telemedia Act") requires that German websites must disclose information about the publisher, including their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company.[8] German websites are defined as being published by individuals or organisations that are based in Germany, so an Impressum is required regardless of whether a site is in the .de domain.

This law has created privacy concerns for individuals who maintain blogs or personal homepages.[9][10][11] The law has also caused lawyers to scrutinise websites for this information and send cease-and-desist letters to their maintainers in case it is missing.[12][13] Due to this law Facebook has added a section in the public page settings for adding Impressum.[14]


  1. ^ de:Presserecht
  2. ^ de:Telemediengesetz
  3. ^ Duden: "(Buchw.): Vermerk über Verleger, Drucker, auch Redaktionen u.a. in Büchern, Zeitungen u. Zeitschriften"
  4. ^
  5. ^ British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF): Imprint Requirements (doc)
  6. ^ EXEIdeas (29-12-2014). "Facebook Impressum"
  7. ^ [1] "In the publishing world, the term imprint usually means the name under which a publisher issues books. For example, you may come across a statement such as "Copernicus Books is an imprint of Springer-Verlag."
  8. ^ TMG § 5 Allgemeine Informationspflichten
  9. ^ pmkpmk, Legally required "Webimpressum" (Web Imprint) in Germany Webmaster General Forum, Aug 20, 2003
  10. ^ Kirsten (2008-08-14). "To the webmasters here: Do you post an imprint/impressum?". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  11. ^ "gnu.savannah.user - Savannah project => German law, "Impressum" (imprint) necessary? - msg#00007 - Recent Discussion". 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  12. ^ Toptechlive (2014-04-11). "Impressum Facebook". 
  13. ^ MMarks (13 October 2003). "U.S. comment on ‘Impressum’/German lawyers’ cease and desist hunt". Transblawg - Weblog on German-English legal translation, no longer from Fürth. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  14. ^ TechInfoKnow (2014-04-11). "Facebook Introduced Impressum in Page Descriptions".